Thursday, June 21
DIY

Tip of the week: Maintain what you’ve got

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Tip of the week: Maintain what you’ve got

I bumped into Mike Smit an old friend. We go back years to the start of the ‘70s when we worked for Murray & Stewart. He told me a story which highlights another problem caused by the drought – non-use of certain machines.

Smit built a home for clients with a huge underground wine cellar. To protect against damp and seepage there is a sump containing a pump operated by a float switch. The other day this house had a major leak from pool pipes which flooded the basement.

Alas, the sump pump did not perform as the non-return value had seized from lack of use. In normal climatic conditions water would seep into the basement causing the pump to run regularly, but no rain means no pump coming on and the result was a seized return valve.

The moral of the story is simple: maintain all equipment if you are using it or not – you don’t know when it may be needed. Even the simplest of things like a mains water stopcock – if it is stuck you won’t shut off the water in an emergency. We are all feeling comfortable again without load-shedding. But do you know where your rechargeable lights are? Are they still working?

Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac
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